We all have habits we want to change. How many times have you promised yourself you'd stop? Tapping can help you replace that old habit with a better one, like appreciating yourself or doing something nice and healthy for yourself.
(1) To change a habit, first notice the emotion you feel when you are about to do the action you want to change.
Is the emotion… Anger? Anxiety? Boredom? Deprivation? Fear?
(2) Where do you feel that emotion in your body? We'll use an example of nail-biting aggravated by anxiety that you feel in your throat.
Feel free to change the habit and the feelings to fit your situation.
(3) Record how intense the desire to bite your nails is right now (or whatever your habit is).
Rate this from 0 to 10, with 10 being incredibly strong (impossible to resist) and 0 being no desire at all.
(4) Tap continuously on the Side of the Hand point and say three times, "Even though I feel anxious in my throat, and I bite my nails when I'm anxious, I'm in the process of deeply and completely accepting myself anyway."
(5) Then go through the points, tapping on each while you repeat a reminder phrase. You can keep the phrase the same or modify it a bit at each point, whichever feels comfortable to you.
Top of the Head: I hate that I bite my nails.
Eyebrow: I wish I could stop.
Side of the Eye: It seems to get worse when I'm anxious.
Under the Eye: Why do I keep doing this?
Under the Nose: There's got to be a better way.
Chin: I hate how my nails look.
Collarbone: I'm letting go of the stress.
Under the Arm: What's a better action that I can take instead?
Top of the Head: I choose to feel surprisingly relaxed anyway.
(6) Take a deep breath.
(7) How intense is the desire to bite your nails now? Rate it from 0 to 10.
You may want to repeat the same tapping sequence, substituting "remaining nail-biting anxiety."
Or you may find that you are clearer about what makes you want to bite your nails… or what makes you feel anxious. Use this new information and tap!
You may discover that there are several reasons that you bite your nails. Don't worry if you find several thoughts or memories coming forward.
As you tap on each of them, you clear anxious energy from your system, and not just around this habit. And you're teaching your body to release old energies and feel more resilient.
You can also invite a new habit in its place as you tap. Do you want to take a deep breath? Take a sip of water? Walk around the block? Ask for a hug?
It can be something small and fun or soothing and nurturing. Replacing a habit with something new makes it a LOT easier.
Replace it with something you enjoy (you can think of it as a reward if you like), and it will entice you to remember to tap when the urge for the old pattern shows up.